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Baker's Dozen

Thirteen Prayers: Kamasi Washington's Favourite Albums
Paul Smith , May 18th, 2016 11:43

Before he embarks on a summer of touring following his excellent 2015 album The Epic, the saxophonist and bandleader makes some difficult decisions to give Paul Smith 13 albums that affected his musical approach


Pharoah Sanders ‎– Karma
That record was another big influence on the way I played. I've always loved that avant-garde dance harmonic sensibility. When you listen to that record it's so soulful. Right in the middle of all that intensity, there's that very honest, really accessible bluesy soulfulness. Playing that soul thing has always spoken to me and when I heard Karma, I thought, "Oh you can put that in here. It doesn't have to be all heavy." You could hear that in John Coltrane's music as well, but Pharoah puts it in there in a real down-home kind of way.

The very first live concert my dad took me to was Pharoah Sanders when I was 8 or 9 years old. To be able to share a stage with him myself recently and to have him embrace me in that way, it was very special for me.